Monday, April 1, 2013

This probably going to be depressing. I am sorry. Pretty slack when I haven't posted in 8 or so months. But this is on my heart.

Death ravishes life and leaves a wake of pain and framed memories. Framed in the relationship of those who died.

    I just read the letter Francis Schaeffer's son, Frank, wrote to his mother on the occasion of her passing. Here it is Letter to my Mother if you want to read it. It is one of sweet memories and of a long life. His mother lived until she was 98. That is a pretty long time. My own mother died when she was 59. Lung cancer after 45 or so years of smoking took her life. It was a time of chaos and regrets. One in which I was able to see her come to the Lord, and I helped into the baptismal pool, to be baptized. It is a time I remember full of shock at how quickly she was debilitated and resentment that she was dying. But it was also one of knowing that she had not been the picture perfect mother I wished she had been. That was hard to handle while being her sole caretaker. She had broken relationships with all of her family and there was only me left. She and I had been on shaky ground for years. She didn't like my husband and she was right, that he was wrong for me, but for the wrong reasons. Being so young with a young child myself, and trying to work full time with a rocky marriage, proved to be devastating when she dies sooner than even the doctor's predicted. So, although I was blessed with one of my Pastor's at the time assuring me that she understood and received forgiveness, we were not able to really  fix our relationship.
   I had always been close with my mother growing up and throughout my crazy and wild teen years and college days, we remained close. But as I grew up and went into the world, my brother continued to be involved with drugs and that life, while dragging my mother into his life. Not as a participant but she became a co dependent. She enabled him and I resented that. So I withdrew from their lives and built my own, only allowing my mother in when my brother was not around. She repeatedly chose him over me and my son, and I resented her. So when the sickness came and he was in jail, there was only me. And I am glad that I was able to care for her. Now I have regrets, but not that.
   Now I am faced with someone I love very dearly losing her mother. Her mother is 63. She is dying from pancreatic cancer. It is painful to watch. My brother ended up dying from pancreatic cancer at age 43. So, I am familiar with the pattern it takes.
   My friend's mother has just been given 8 weeks left to live. I know that this is going to be very hard for me but it is going to be devastating and life changing for my dear friend. Because this mother, is a godly mother. This mother is the mother we all wish we had.
   My friend's mother was there when I was saved, she was there when my mother got sick and she was there when I went into the baptismal with her. She was there when my brother died. She was there through the births of my 2 daughters. She has always been there with godly advice and a sweet demeanor, joyous smile and devotion to her grandchildren. Three of whom are my daughters best friends.
   I am going to have to be there for my friend, and I am going to have to be there for my daughters as they attempt to comfort her granddaughters. They are all under the age of 13. I don't know how to do this. I don't know how to comfort her from so great a loss. Our whole community is in shock. When I say this woman is special, I mean that she is one of those women who touch everyone's lives with such grace and genuine love. Her faith is so deep that you can swim in it. Her life one of such grace that it shines with a light of its own. How will I live up to this task?
   I know that the Lord said it is "precious in His sight is the death of His saints" Ps 116:15, but it is so painful to have her leave our presence. And to comfort those whose lives will never be the same, the place she held can never be filled and will always be missed. How deeply will we need the strength of our Lord. How wonderful and comforting it will be to know that we will see her again. She will be with Him the moment of her death because in 2 Corinthians 5:8 we are given the promise of where she will be at the moment of death. But we will feel her absence until we are with Him also.
  I wonder if these are the things that will make us long even more for the time when Christ returns? I know it must be so. Dearest Lord, let this time we have be precious together, and give me the words, the actions to comfort those she leaves behind. Do not let me disappoint you Lord. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An Apology to My Future Daughter In Law

  I am sorry that he doesn't clean the house as a matter of routine, but when you are sick, it will be cleaned as well as if you did it yourself, so maybe you will forgive me. I am sorry if he does not say all the gushy, lovey dovey things your heart desires, he is reserved with his emotions and does not like to cry in movies. But he is a stalwart wall to lean on during excruciatingly painful times and his compassion and comfort comes from the Lord and he shares it with you so that you will not falter or faint. I am sorry if he is not the trendy, hipster man that is so popular in today's culture who is satisfied with a working wife while he finds himself. He found himself at 18 and has never looked back at his past with wistfulness, but forward with determination to take care of a family, have a helpmate, and to provide, not to be provided for. He can change a diaper while playing swords with a toddler and his shoulders are strong enough to carry the children of your heart, however many that may be, he is not stingy or fearful of a large family. 
    He may not match his children's clothes perfectly but he can make a mean ponytail and sometimes braid hair all while changing an infant's diaper at the same time. He can single handedly get girls ready for church, including teeth, hair and accessories while remembering to get their bibles. But he may not be as sweet as you would be while doing it. Sometimes he just picks them up and puts them in the car without waiting to see if they are done. Being on time is a little more important to him than the perfect outfit. I am sorry. But maybe you will forgive me when you hear him in the pulpit preaching God's word, if that is where God puts him.  
    So I hope that although he is not perfect, you will forgive us and his love for you and ya'lls children will make up for when he sleeps late and doesn't mow the grass as soon as that neurotic neighbor does. Hopefully, ya'lls land will have a tree line surrounding it. You will be able to depend on him to fix what needs fixing in the house, he is not a man who will always call a plumber and he will leave a mess when he is done. I am sorry, maybe you will forgive me for not making him clean up after himself as well as I should have. But you will not go without a running toilet or shower, and he will always have a generator when the power is out or a supply of candles and books to read by candle light to the kids. Your life will be fun, and full of adventure but yes he gets grumpy sometimes and I am sorry. We usually ignore him for about an hour then make him play with us. You will have a better way because he will always want to please you.       
    You may never have a mansion but you will never hear him ask you to work to make up for any financial difficulties and he will never   abandon you, as family is instilled in him to the exclusion of finding his own "happy place". You will be his happy place and he will tell you how to run his home while depending heavily on your advice and counsel. He has been taught to love you since he was old enough to know he was going to be married. You have been the subject of conversations in our home before we even knew your name. Until we find you, we will pray for you daily and your little sister in law's, although looking forward to you in their life as sister/best friends, they are a little jealous of this young lady who their brother prefers over them, even before he meets you.  Dear daughter in law, we love you and are missing you in our lives. We are praying for you. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When One of Our Children Die

The grief of a parent is unlike anything else in this world. When a child is taken suddenly, violently, it is deeper than any knife wound could make. Today I held an earthquake of emotion in my arms while muttering stupid, inane and completely useless words. Words that cannot erase the waste of a life not lived, the piece of heart and soul of the mother in my arms. I could not say the only words that could comfort her, to assuage her pain, the only words that could give her hope. Because I do not know where this young man, a child that I knew from age 3, the best friend of my own beloved son until age 13, when choices had to be made. Choices like, how far would I allow the influence of a child whose family did not believe in the path that I had been so graciously led to by a loving Savior. How can I comfort a woman whose eyes desperately seek mine for what she knows my son has, what he wanted for his best of all friends, the one he loved, his favorite playmate and confidant? I saw in her eyes, the desire for me to speak words that would bind her wounds, enough to stop the hemorrhaging of pain that her heart was killing her mind and body with, words that would ultimately bring healing but I could not. And then I left her, in the world that she inhabited, with friends not sending cakes and casseroles, but coolers of beer. A world that I had left 14 years ago and took my son from her son.

  Now here I am, looking for photographs, ones that chronicled the life that her child had with mine, the memories that these bring also bring a deep sense of shame and guilt. Did I abandon her? Did we, out of self righteousness walk away from her? Was the reason, I distanced myself from her and her family, who ultimately broke apart in divorce and crumbled under her own addiction to substances, although legal, and doctor approved, torn a rent in her family that took years to repair. Years that we were not part of, ones where our lives were lived in the rarified world of church gathering and homeschool group  fellowship. Where I believed I was safe, my son was safe from the evil influences of the unsaved and unrepentant. Where I discovered to my deep dismay and heartbreak, a professing mouth does not prove a repentant life. Carnality and sin are in every group, and sometimes it is as evil as the rebellious sinner who riotously revels in his despotism.

  With every photo I find, I realize that the God who knows me, who loves my son much more than I could ever fathom, grieved so much for His creation that He did what I longed to do for this mother today, take her pain, but God did so much more. While I am willing to take my friends pain and suffer for her, even though the years separated us at my instigation, I draw the proverbial line at substituting my son for hers. To give my son to Death, for the life of her son and assuaging of her grief. But this is exactly what my God did for me. He assuaged my grief, with the hope that my son, who is saved, who did persevere, even through the tangles and briars of every group we fellowshipped with, be it the Brethren or the wicked, God delivered my son for Himself that I will never grieve like this mother that I held today. And although, I cannot for sure know the last moments of the child who grew to age 21 and then his days, who are numbered from Creation, whose soul is intimately known to God from the beginning of time, who this day did not catch the Creator of all things by surprise, were ended by a gunshot while saving 2 young girls from the pistol of a robber. I do not know what happened between this child and God in those last breaths, I will pray that God had mercy on His soul and brought this boy to remembrance of what he learned sitting by my son, in the pews of the church where God's grace and mercy were preached, where he went to children's camp and the gospel was preached to him at a young age, although separated from us, I will pray, that He was not seperated from God in those last moments. Because I have what the world has not, and that is hope.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Grief I Never Knew

 I have a nephew in Afganistan. He is 20 yrs old. 6 months younger than my own son. He is actually my 2nd cousin since he is my favorite cousin's son. She and I were born 8 days apart. We had our first sons  months apart. We were raised like sisters by two sisters who were best friends. Our mother's use to dress us alike and we spent most holidays with each other even though we were 2 states apart and then later 3 states apart. But the commitment of our mothers to seeing each other kept us close. This is all to explain why I call my cousin's son my nephew. He has always known me as his Aunt, never his cousin.

  My nephew is in the army. He enlisted when he was 18, right out of high school. He had always for as long as I have known him (since he was born), wanted to be in the military. He also got married when he was 18. He had a baby with his wife before he was 19. His sweet little 19 yr old wife is expecting son number 2 while her young husband is sweeping through dangerous enemy towns in Afganistan. I keep up with her through facebook. Everyone has a facebook and I am glad. It keeps us connected. Thank you creepy Mark Zuckerburg. I can keep up with my nephews wife while she waits on her new baby, takes care of her barely 2 year old and waits also for her husband's deployment to end. Hopefully with him this side of Heaven.

  While browsing my niece in law's facebook, I saw an entry from a young army wife whose profile picture was a young man, so I clicked on her profile, I am not sure why. It was open to the public and I read her entries and realized that this young mother had lost a baby in 2010. It was her second baby and it was a stillborn child. This touched my heart as I also have had a still baby. I guess they call them still born because of the incredible stillness of the child in your arms. As I kept reading I saw that she had an almost 5 month old too. And then I saw that she set her husband's picture as her profile picture in memory of him. She had lost her young husband in Afganistan 6 months before their 3rd child was to be born. My stomach caught in a knot and my eyes immediately teared up. I felt a wave of grief for this young girl who couldn't have been more than 22 or 23. She was one of thousands, maybe millions of young wives who waited on a husband that never came home. Not because he didn't want to, but because he couldn't. I imagined what would happen to the sweet almost 20 yr old wife of my nephew who was pregnant with her second little boy with the young man that I use to change his diapers. What would my sister/cousin do if she received the man in full uniform at her door, telling her of her oldest son's death at the hands of an enemy we have never courted. This young widow was the face of my niece, she had received the knock on the door, the gloved hand to hold her while she called her mother and best friend to come help her live through the pain. She received the arms of the other young women who had received the same knock on the door and had to tell their children that Daddy went to Heaven and would not be home to live with them.

  Can I just tell you that my throat ached with unshed tears when I saw her most recent post to a man that can't read her message? How much I wanted to reach in the computer and hold that young girl who had lost not only her baby but a husband too? I have never felt that kind of grief in my 40 plus years. I have lost a mother, a father, a baby and a brother but never a husband while a child was in my womb and 2 year old on my hip. I have never heard that a lunatic planted bombs to kill my young husband and take my future away. And she, this young woman, she writes with such peace. Yes, I stalked her facebook, trying to know this unknown young woman, trying to fathom how she dealt with this blow to her heart, her future and her children's future. How did she give birth and have the strength to go on in the midst of grieving for the love of her life? I have felt that desperate young love once, it is so pure and satisfying to have that young love and life in your arms. To dream and have children with. How did she bear it? How does she go on day by day? So, I read on, and do you know how she does it?

   She does not seem to have a mature faith in God, but she has a simple one. She believes that her husband is with her daughter that died 1 yr before he did and she imagines their life together. She is in college full time, while living with her parents and she is also reaching out as a Widow Sister to the other young women who are receiving the knock on their door or will one day. Her posts are positive comments on her beautiful children's progress and her own in college. She posts poems to her husband that are not sad but encouraging. How I admire this young woman that I have never met. How I pray for her and her children. She has inspired me to know that if ever faced with the depth of grief that she has faced, to follow this girl, young enough to be my daughter, to follow her example of strength. I have the Lord and know that I can do this through Him and I know that He is helping her even though she may not know to what extent, but from the few posts I read, she is learning about Him. So I pray for her spiritual growth and that her story will include the acknowledgement of God in her life. I see seeds in her, I pray for a harvest. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What If We All Were Atheists?



There is a concerted effort in the atheist community to convert others to their way of thinking. They believe that the world would be better off and become a Utopian like planet if everyone were resigned to the belief there is no God, no Heaven and no Hell and when you die that is it, you cease to exist. So I thought, let's take a realistic look at what the world would really be like if everyone became what the atheist call "Reasonable People".

  In the religion of atheism, they believe that there is no God and therefore no judgment at the end of one's life, so if you take away 75% of the world's belief that they will be judged by a Supreme Being at the end of their life for the way they lived, what would happen. Most likely chaos would reign in every corner of the world. Most vocal atheist are well educated, the ones that belong to the prominent online communities and are part of large Atheist promoting groups, such as "American Atheists". This is a large national community of unbelievers who have erected several billboard campaigns across the United States promoting atheism. While reading their website atheist.org and several blogs that promote atheism I believe I have seen a common thread in their thinking, the complete annihilation of all theistic or polytheistic religions is their goal. But I wonder if they realize what would happen if their goal was realized.

Although they concentrate most of their efforts against Christians, they are against any religion, Buddism, Hinduism, Islam, you name it and they are against it. They want you to believe that there is nothing at death. There is only one life and that is this one on the Earth that you are living. So what if their deepest desire were to become reality? Would we have Peace and Happiness or Chaos and sickness?

 Imagine a world without God. There is no standard because there is no Bible, so each culture would live as they see fit. Now look at the tribesmen in Africa, those who have no idea that God exists, oh wait, you can't because they believe in a Great Spirit that judges them. Ok, so we really can't see an example of any culture that doesn't have a God in their belief system. So the closest we can come is looking at a communist society, one who does not believe in a any spiritual entities. In these societies, they are always dictatorships it seems. And the people are always oppressed. But for now, with a God in the equation, they are kept in check by the world's eyes on them. But what if everyone were like them? We would have a world of a few rulers who would most likely subjugate the people of their country. There would be no governing authority to say that oppression is wrong because it would be universally accepted. This, I believe, would eventually evolve, (ha ha, pun intended) into slavery for most of the world because of  man's desire to dominate man, and with no consequences, such as  standard of morals to go by, man's cruelty to man would be unbearable. Genocide, Infanticide, Euthanasia of the elderly and the infirm, would be fair game and acceptable because there would be no one to say that it is wrong. No one would believe they would ever answer for any of their hideous deeds. The freedom to sin, slaughter and live out the most perverted of schemes the mind could come up with, and there are a multitude, would be the standard. Truly on the fittest would survive. The most cruel.

  It is only by an all powerful, judgmental God, that the hands of a sick and depraved mind of man, are stayed. You may think I am exaggerating but where did the standard of society come from? From the Bible, from the mind of God. Every law was first written in the hand of an ancient Hebrew. There would be no law that is a standard for a civilized society, except that it was first based on the tenets of God.  If you are doubtful, think long and hard about every person in this world, not the guy sitting next to you at the coffee shop or in class, but the ones roaming the streets of Iran and Iraq. What if they believed they could do anything without any eternal judgment. What if every person in the Middle East did not believe in God, I mean they already kill their daughters and wives if they tick them off and it is legal, what would happen if they didn't have to have a "Muslim" reason for it? Or the crazies right here in America? What would life be like. It would not be the intelligent, conversing, peace seeking Utopia that Atheist R US has envisioned. It would be war on every street, crime ridden dictatorships with no protection for the weak. It would be a world of Chaos and death with no place to hide. Praise God that He Is and His hand of mercy stays the wickedness of man. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

MiThoughts: What’s wrong with this Country? YOU ARE

MiThoughts: What’s wrong with this Country? YOU ARE: Guest Post by Stephen Morrison “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the ...